As a teenager and a young adult, I was a human and animal rights activist. But my activism was messy. I needed more education to understand societies organization. This is why it took me a long time to go back to university, transform myself and turn social disadvantages (lower middle class and dysfunctional family) into assets (acute perception of social reproduction, sense of observation and empathy).
I was born on April 4th, 1976 in Paris, France. I grew up in the eastern suburbs of Paris with my brother. As far back as I can remember, I have been fascinated by the feeling of belonging, which is a great mystery to me. When I was younger, I perfectly remind that I was thinking about myself as a person without culture, without identity: I was jealous of my friends who had strong family traditions and habits. It seemed to me I had none.
My parents were communist activists. They stopped to advocate for their ideas when I was still very young, I would even say maybe before I was born, but they raised me and my brother (he's 7 years younger than me so his history is quite different) as if there was no past. They refused the family symbolic heritage and history, except for a few elements like my great-grandmother's memory (was it because she had died?). I can't remember any narrative they could have told me, except negative points explaining, in their mind, why it was normal to have almost no relationships with the rest of the family.
For years, partly because of their past and how they evolved towards a racist and conservative way of thinking, I was suspicious of far-left movements. I was thinking that no change could come from outside the system. I thought we had to do our best for small changes that would make the difference over a very long timescale. Today, I'm not so sure of that and I watch with a great interest such initiatives as Notre-Dame-des-Landes and other self-governance labs like global cooperatives.
I'm childfree for various reasons:
1) I never felt the desire to be a mother and it doesn't mean I don't like children (I'm a great fan of my niece Lilas but I have serious concerns about her future, regarding gender, ecological and political issues), neither is it because I wouldn't have found the right person to start a family (a "true" love story doesn't always imply it),
2) as a woman, I claim another place in this world than a mother's place,
3) my animals do not substitute children ;-) I'm interested in the interspecies cohabitation and, thanks to my dogs, I understood why I was so intensely moved by vulnerable living beings: taking care of my pets was a way to remedy the psychological mistreatment I suffered when I was a child,
4) I shouldn't have to answer this question if our societies were as much cultural as we think ;-) Tracking the biological part of the culture is also one of my favourite activities!
And to those who are wondering why I answered this question and why I haven't simply avoided this topic, I would like to remind how tough is the social pressure about motherhood. Now I'm over 40-year old, this pressure decreases. This is one advantage of ageing :-D
I'm French, as my passport says, but I feel more European even if I'm not satisfied with the current European institutions.
As a citizen and a left-wing activist, I'm deeply interested in those young democracies the North of the continent forgot after WW2, especially Spain. I'm mainly attracted by its diverse identities, its decentralised institutions, its multiple experiments of political alternatives, the fight for a Republic (at least for foiling far-right initiatives), the need to overcome the dictatorship's heritage (what Spain is doing about memory, France never dared to do it about Pétain and the collaboration with the Nazis).
A BIT MORE DETAILS ABOUT MY SEDENTARY-ORIENTED PAST IN THE SUBPAGES
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